Overcoming the 4 Most Common Mistakes Sales Professionals Make

If you’ve been in sales long enough, you’re aware of a tipping point that occurs during a deal. The moment when what you say—or do—can either bring pen to paper or result in rejection from the lead. Often, it’s during this critical tipping point when the most common selling mistakes occur.

At Beyond, our sales team is constantly working together to find new ways to prospect, sell, and grow their portfolio—and that means sharing mistakes and failures too.

Whether you’re a seasoned sales veteran or a rookie, there’s always an opportunity to learn from mistakes and hone your craft. Read on for of the 4 most common selling mistakes—and how to overcome them.

1. Dishonesty Kills

You’re fighting to make the sale and find yourself making promises you can’t keep. The practice of over-promising and under-delivering is kryptonite to any sales career, and no item on this list is more damaging to your credibility as a salesperson or the perception of your product.

Selling is in many ways just a form of managing expectations. If your product or service cannot meet the needs of the consumer, don’t tell them otherwise. Understand your offering and sell it transparently, your leads will be more receptive and more likely to entertain future communications. At Beyond, transparency and honesty are at the core of our business model, so we take the time to educate our sales team on the many ways we can help business owners. That way, they are always prepared to offer what we can do for a business, and never what we can’t.  

Transparency during the sales interaction can also directly affect customer service post-sale. Customers who received a realistic assessment of the product/service capabilities are less likely to be hostile toward your customer service team if they experience a problem down the road.

Build the right kind of relationship and make the right impression, avoiding everything but true transparency when pursuing the sale.

2. More Than Routine Maintenance

In our digital world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of channels for communication. Between texting, phone calls, email, and direct message over social media, conversations with prospects and customers can happen easily and concurrently. While you might feel the need to be constantly connected, don’t rely on standardized responses to stay on top of things.
Standardized, templated responses may save you time, but they come at a great cost. When you rely on automated messages, you lose the opportunity to truly build a relationship with your prospects and clients. Instead, offer your prospect relevant information based on their industry and present information catered specifically to them. The extra time taken to personalize a message will pay dividends in the end.

Take the extra time, do the extra research, and make sure the information you pass along to your lead is relevant to their business, not the one next door.

3. The Sale is NOT About You

It’s always good to remind ourselves the reason salespeople exist: to match a superior product or service with a customer that has a defined need. Nowhere in that mission statement does it mention making quotas, profit, or how a new client may expand your portfolio.

The point is, salespeople need to remember the primary purpose of their role is to service others by providing the best product possible, and accessible and honest support. At Beyond, we focus on training our sales team to understand how they can further their career, network, and skillset by selling. When they get in front of a prospect, they can focus on truly making it all about the prospect’s business.

To better communicate with leads and offer tailored support and service, learn to put your prospect or client at the forefront of all your communications. Start by reviewing your pitch and resources through the eyes of your customer and ask yourself:

  1. Is this information relevant to the prospect?
  2. How does the product/service meet the customer’s need?
  3. How can I educate, engage with, or elaborate on information with my customer to help them better reach an understanding of my product and service capabilities?

Improve your chances to close the sale by ignoring personal motivators, championing the customer, and working together to find the best possible solutions for their business.

4. The Forgotten Skill — Listening

A consistent trait many, if not all, salespeople have is the ability to be an outstanding conversationalist. You know what to say and when to say it. However, don’t let your ability to lead the conversation be cancelled out by an inability to listen.

There isn’t a defined ratio on how much you should be talking compared to the prospect, but we can assure you there is more benefit in an even split than 90/10. Excess talking usually means you are missing out on a large amount of beneficial information—take a step back and allow your customer to have the floor. Listening to your customer gives them the opportunity to share unique problems, business needs, and most importantly, gives you space to field new questions. The more information you allow your customer to share, the more firepower you have in identifying touchpoints to drive your sale.

Even in a highly specialized industry, one customer’s problem will not be the same as the next. Without listening to your customers, you may rely on assumptions. While preparing for your next lead, make the extra effort to build in listening time for your customer.

At Beyond, we take pride in learning from mistakes so we can provide business owners best in class service. If you’re a sales professional who is ready to sink their teeth in, develop new skills, learn from mistakes, and help change the payments industry, Beyond is the place for you. We’re building a team of superior salespeople who champion the customer and have a passion for supporting America’s main street businesses. Explore a company with uncapped earning potential and a commitment to changing the payments industry. Learn more and apply today.

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